‘Yellowstone’ Star Brecken Merrill Dissects ‘Owl Barf’ in New Instagram Post

by Thad Mitchell

Yellowstone star actor Brecken Merrill is finally breaking into his gift from his grandfather.

Merrill, now 12-years-old, plays the curious future cowboy Tate Dutton on the hit Paramount Network series. Tate is the son of Kayce and Monica Dutton and the grandson of Kevin Costner’s character, John Dutton. The youngest of the Dutton spends his days hanging out with his grandfather and learning the cowboy lifestyle. He often interacts with the Yellowstone Ranch hands and even got his own horse just a season ago.

Off of the ranch, Merrill is your typical young boy, doing his best to seek out his place in the world. That could be why his grandfather sent him these owl pellets. While your first thought might be messing with owl puke is disgusting, it actually has quite a bit of educational value.

“Pellets” are the undigested parts of a bird’s food, such as hair or bones, which are regurgitated through the beak. Several birds, including owls, are unable to digest certain food items are often fully intact when regurgitated. This makes the pellets valuable for dissection purposes. Bone structures of small rodents and other things the owl has eaten typically come out fully intact in the pellets.

‘Yellowstone’ Star Brecken Merrill Shares Disection Thoughts

Merrill took to social media on Saturday to talk about and share a few photos of his latest pellet dissection efforts. Though he says dissection “freaks me out,” he and his sister appear to be having a wonderful time.

“We finally dissected the owl barf,” the Yellowstone star says emphatically. “There were tons of skulls. The Little tiny holes where the teeth used to go FREAK ME OUT!” @merrilly3 was an excellent assistant.”

His Saturday afternoon tweet took in more than 600 “likes” and dozens of comments.

It’s clear that Merrill is enjoying his time off from his role on Yellowstone. Tate has had a rough go of it through the first three seasons. He’s battled with a rattlesnake and kidnapped by a militia group.

Yellowstone fans certainly want to see more to Brecken Merrill and Tate Dutton in season four.